A NEW shop has opened in the heart of a Wearside community.
The new community shop at Dovecote Meadow was unveiled by the leader of Sunderland City Council, Coun Paul Watson, and has been funded, staffed and designed by members of the community.
The site, in Ford Estate, was developed as a partnership between the council, Housing and Care 21, and Keepmoat and opened last July to provide modern and independent living for people aged 55 and over who need care and support.
The store will employ two people from the community who will benefit from training in stock control, customer care, book keeping, marketing and publicity.
Financial support has been provided by the West Area Committee through the Community Chest, which funds community projects.
Coun Watson said: “This new community shop demonstrates how much we can all achieve working in partnership. It will not only provide residents of Dovecote Meadow with their own local shop, but also create jobs and the chance for local people to develop and increase their personal skills.
“Training and volunteering are great ways of increasing your employment prospects, getting involved with your friends and neighbours, and helping to create a stronger community.”
The bid for funding from the West Area Committee was submitted by voluntary organisation Pallion Action Group.
The shop will be leased and managed by Pallion Action Group to provide training and employment opportunities for the community.
Community development officer at Pallion Action Group, Karen Wood, said: “With continuing support from Sunderland City Council through the West Area Committee, the community is working together and achieving a great deal.
“The new community shop at Dovecote Meadows is a great example of what can be done, and will provide a wide range of opportunities for a wide range of people.”